London remains top choice for EU tech funding
LONDON is Europe’s most attractive city for technology start-ups, despite a sharp slowdown last year, a study showed this week.
With Brexit looming, the Mayor’s promotional agency London & Partners said that 1.8 billion pounds (US$2.3 billion) was invested in fledgling tech businesses in 2018.
That represented a near 30-percent slump on 2017 and was the first slowdown in six years, L&P said in a statement.
But London’s 2018 total was still double the level of Berlin, which stood in second place at 936.53 million pounds, while Paris was third with 797.04 million pounds.
Investment is being propelled by a “significant” increase in funding for emerging sectors such as fintech — or financial technology — as well as Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain.
Britain continues to be a major force in European tech, with a growing stable of so-called “unicorns,” private companies that are worth more than US$1.0 billion each. Such titans include online banks Monzo and Revolut.
Britain’s entire tech start-up sector raised almost 2.5 billion pounds last year, down 20.2 percent from 2017.
However, the comparison was skewed because 2017 saw vast deals, including food courier Deliveroo, virtual reality specialist Improbable and money transfer firm TransferWise, that did not materialize last year.